[lug] MIDI Keyboard for Linux

Lee Woodworth blug-mail at duboulder.com
Sat Dec 26 14:13:21 MST 2015

Things I have discovered fiddling with a 61 key Casio keyboard w/ usb-midi.
It was a special sale ~ $80. Seems to be a common price is ~ $100.

o Not all of the low-end keyboards have USB midi.
o The Casio works w/o ucode loading or a dongle, just needs a USB cable.
o Keyboards may be able to receive midi events (be played from the computer)
  as well as send key events (the casio does this)
o AFICT, a controller requires a connection to a synth of some kind. Thats why I
  went with a keyboard.
o If you want to hear multiple sound sources via the computer head-phone jack
  (e.g. play a music file and hear a soft synth)
  ALSA device exclusivity can be a problem.
o Using jack will allow simultaneous use of multiple sound sources but
  does complicate usage. Also your software needs to support jack and be configured
o Qsnyth + soundfonts works as plain soft synth and works with jack
o Rosegarden records midi and converts to music notation and works with jack
o Qjackctl helps with connecting jack sources/sinks

Software I have installed:

Kernel 4.3 config/drivers that work for me:

    snd_usbmidi_lib        16064  0
    snd_seq_midi            4448  0
    snd_rawmidi            14992  2 snd_usbmidi_lib,snd_seq_midi
    snd_seq_midi_event      4416  1 snd_seq_midi
    snd_seq                39320  2 snd_seq_midi_event,snd_seq_midi
    snd_seq_device          2376  3 snd_seq,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq_midi

Kernel modules that are explicitly loaded:

On 12/26/2015 09:33 AM, Jed S. Baer wrote:
> Hi Folks.
> Idly pondering picking up a small MIDI keyboard controller. I can't call
> myself a musician, as such, so I'm not looking for something like a Nord
> Clavia. But, on rare occasions, I get the urge to play around. I
> discovered, yesterday, that using an on-screen keyboard (vmpk) was nuts.
> Just looking around, I note products such as the Alesis V25 can be had
> quite cheaply.
> http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IWWBSD6/
> It gets mixed reviews, but I'm not sure the issues raised will matter to
> me.
> Right now, there's a nice price on the Arturia Minilab too, and I suspect
> it's a better piece of gear. But I'm reading comments about needing a
> "USB License key". Ruh-roh - not Linux compatible?
> Akai and M-Audio have cheap stuff too.
> I will have to do some looking about for Linux compatibility issues, but
> I figured I'd see what recommendations / advice anyone here might have.
> Best,
> jed
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